Friday, May 20, 2011

NOT a "bucketlist" item!

Okay, I am NOT calling this a bucketlist item, because in some dark recess of my mind that means that I am working towards and planning on kicking the bucket...and that is faaaar away from any current plans.  However, I am admittedly a list-maker, and it feels sooo great to check something off a list!  So, my solution is to gleefully announce that my masters degree is almost in hand!  I get the actual degree in August after my summer courses.  (Check!)
Yahoo!  Back to my papers and project...!

My husband, parents, and brother were able to celebrate with me in Cedar City as I walked and got "hooded".  I also appreciate all the other friends and family members who couldn't be there, but sent along their love and support via text, phone, notes, and flowers!  Ben and I both agreed that it would be much cooler if the hoods resembled the jedi master hoods...maybe Amy could get on that with the fashion industry!?  Any takers?
Thank you to all who have been patient with my lack of time and energy as I tackled this.  I am seriously amazed at how blessed and lucky we are to have such a great support system of family and friends.

As of May 13, I am 7 months chemo-free and still in remission.  My oncologist graduated me as well, stretching my doctor appointments out to every few months instead of every month.  :-)  My calandar has no cancer clinic appointments until....JULY!!!  Awesome!!!! 
I know not everyone gets such a happy story to their fight with cancer.  KC teases me that I've never really associated myself with cancer- "I have Leukemia- not Cancer."  Yea, yea; I know- Leukemia is a type of cancer.  On those days when it is hard to "Hoover it (aka Suck it up)" and be strong, it is an overwhelming blessing to be lifted up by those around you.  I have found a plethora of heros not only these last 3 years, but in my lifetime.  For all those quiet, loud, passionate, steadfast, diverse heroes out there who are enduring trials themselves or standing by their loved one: Celebrate the little things and never give up!  What an amazing thing it is to watch people serve friends, family, and even strangers by donating time, resources,  and sharing their love and compassion with people who need so much during such times.  From someone who has received so much, I thank you. I am a better person for knowing you, and am inspired to be even more.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Year 3- Done!!!

What a good day for an anniversary of life!

I just thought I'd write a few words today; life is so different than 3 years ago!  My body was coming to a standstill as I had little blood to nourish it.  Life was coming to a freezing halt as everything went on hold until better days.  I feel so blessed to be shown amazing beauty in that stillness!
   *Like grass coated with frost, I was insulated from harm in a protective environment of excellent care.
   *Just as our breath is miraculously visible on a cold morning, I witnessed the hourly evidence of prayers spoken.
   *At first impression there was monotony, but then I realized the copious shades of service, layering me with a contrast of health to my impending illness.
   *The silent moments allowed me the luxury of looking within, strengthening my roots, and stretching my listening abilities beyond my sight.
   *Relying on stores of nurishment, I gained gratitude for all the preparations both spiritually and physically of myself and others.
   *The hush of winter reminds you there is a spring coming soon, full of life and awakenings!

The winter for me is melting away.  I feel the warmth and energy slowly piercing the fog of my brain and slowed body.  Thank you for your patience with me, and thank you for your loving support.  I am truly humbled when I think of all the lesson plans others created on my behalf; the time spent in notes, phone calls, and visits; the amounts of faith and care that were extended to me and my family; the schedules and needs that were rearranged to ease my burdens; the moments of focused listening to my thoughts...I thank you.  These are feeble words, but heartfelt.  I hope I can someday be that robin for you on your wintry day, reminding you that the climate will change soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Green Light....GO!

So many good tidings of great joy today!  The last Chilean miner making it to the surface, a good friend's birthday, and lots of other happy things whose specifics have already slipped my memory... but, may I add to the celebrations?

No more daily pills. 
No more weekly IVs. 
Happy, happy, joy, joy!  I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!

What a glorious day!  Thank you to all those near and far who celebrated with me today, and continue to celebrate each day after.  I loved the many happy dances we got to share, along with the other forms of jubilee!  My students even applauded each time I entered the room to celebrate the exciting day; their joy was sooo appreciated! 

The official diagnosis is still remission, but I now have monthly visits to the doctor for a blood draw to validate the Leukemia is not back, and then after two years....I am declared CURED!  What am I going to do with my Wednesdays now?  lol.

I've learned that during our challenges in life there are moments when the road gets smoother for a while, and other times when the road forks to a whole new and different adventure; both allowing us the chance to sit down and count our many blessings, thanking God and those who sustain us in our everyday travels.  So, today as I metaphorically take one exit for another onramp, I THANK YOU! 
I have felt copious amounts of support and goodwill in my life; these last few years especially.  I am still amazed at the caring and competent care I have received from "my" doctors and nurses and whatever other titles they all hold.  My schoolmates have eased the peripheral burdens of teaching while going through my treatments, and have always inspired me in their spontaneous acts of service.  My close friends and neighbors amaze me with their awareness of others, and have taught me how to truly sustain a soul over the long haul.  My can you sum up the heroic moments from family?  They are everything.  And, not to get too sappy, but KC has been my rock.  He takes care of the world so I can hold some resemblance of "keeping it together", even when my fatigued brain and body collaborate with my stubborness.  Yea, he's cool.  I'm very happy for this path God has put me on; the scenery is beautiful!

So, as I have been sitting at this intersection for a little while now, the light has finally changed!  I'm excited to see what lies down the road, and I'm ready to put the pedal to the metal.  See ya at the next intersection.  Green light.....Go!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Year 2- Done!!!

I've now finished my 2nd year of treatment for leukemia... and I'm pretty proud!  We're hoping for just another 9 months, and then I'll really get in some recovery time.  I miss my brain.  I miss my energy.  I hope I find them again... then again, maybe their reality is a figment of my imagination.  Maybe I'll find their glory never really was there, and all my excuses are gone!  Hummm... I'll have to think about that!
The good thing about anniversaries and all other celebrations is that you stop and take time to share gratitude and joy for all you have, and the people who enrich your life sooo much.  For all the many people who have taken time out of their lives to bring/send/or pray for my comfort and joy; I send to you a heartfelt thanks.  I continually find myself admiring all the heroes around me who do so much, so humbly.  Thank you.  I'm trying to be like YOU as I grow up!  For the many people who have dedicated themselves to their profession with much integrity and joy:  Thank you for easing my mind and body into capable hands.  You make the journey hopeful and are a support system larger than one person.  For all the people who push for, fund, and participate in research which brings cures to people's lives....Thank you.  You give people their futures; an amazing gift!  And last, but most important, I give Thanks to God.  It is He who lightens the load, gives strength when I feel "tapped", gives us the priesthood to bless our lives, inspires us through scripture, songs and service, and gives me all the reasons to live the way I do.  He makes all the previous "thanks" possible!  And, it is truly His eternal future for which I aspire!

 Just for highlighting my hair the last two years.  Vain, I know...!  But it seems to be one of the most popular topics with people, so here it is...                             

P.S.  Christmas and New Years was wonderful with so many family members around!  I'll post that later. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yingle, Yingle!!!

For all those Edward lovers out there....! This is from someone on the staff at; a website that is literally my daily happy pill! I know. Pathetic. Still love it, though!
(To turn off the celebratory music so you can watch the "show", go to the "part Dos" entry, the first slide set, and hit the sound button. Whala...silence!)

My leukemia news has been pretty boring the last few months; just doing my protocol and same old stuff week to week. But, I FINALLY have some fun news to report! I've been "graduated".... in a sense. What it means? Separate from my weekly chemo treatments, my monthly visit has "graduated" to seeing the P.A., freeing up my amazing oncologist to see sicker people. P.S. The sicker people group no longer includes me. Pretty great, right?! Right. Dr. Bott had quite the twinkle in his eye as we talked over the good news.
Then, to top it off, my platelets are joining the party of my bloodstream. They were slow to come back, but I haven't been in the "low" category for two weeks now. Awesome. So, feel free to do a happy dance with me. Then shake it all around....

My Christmas wish for you is that you enjoy the holiday and savor each:
carol and song of the season
ornamented tree

pine bough, bundle of cinnamon, and scented pinecone
decoration that brings joyous memories
falling flake that gives hope for a White Christmas
lit up house on your street
cheesy TV special
book that makes you cry (am not...)
card from loved ones far and near
snacks that go sooo against every diet invented
present you wish for others, whether it is bought or not
moment in which you testify of the miracle of Jesus

Merry Christmas! Love to all, and Peace on Earth.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Wow. Where did the last two months go? Hope you are all well and enjoying the festivities! There's been a lot of sickness going around, and we've had our fair share. I think we're finally moving on... just in time for good times of celebration!

Before I go on, I need to get this out of the way...., "New Moon rocks!" There are not words to describe my satisfaction with the film, so all you fellow Twilighters out there..... YIPPEE!!! Hope you all enjoyed it equally!
Okay, NOW.... the much awaited pictures of the Renovation!!! Da-da-da. Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped, and those who have shared the joy of home improvement. We're all pretty crazy, aren't we?! All in all, we are very pleased with the results, and are thankful it's done! Project HGTV inspiration....done. For now!

In October, we were sooo lucky to have KC's parents come visit for a week, and then we went and visited SLO for a weekend! (We so did not plan that right...) We went to California with Sarah's parents to remember her Uncle David, who had passed recently. It was great fun seeing the cousins and extended family. Sad reason to come together, but it was time filled with hugs and support.

While in San Luis Obispo, Tracie shared an AMAZING Halloween dinner with us before we left. What a great way to get "in the mood" for the holiday! We must say, however, that the company was the best part of the whole meal!

As for Spooktacular holiday cheer back home, KC and I participated in Trunk 'or Treat for the first time ever.... had a blast. KC also participated in our ward's yearly Pie, Soup, and Chili night. No awards, but he had a great time! The corn chowder was delicious, and the Bananas Foster pie.... YUM!

We wish you a wonderful holiday! We continually are in awe of our many blessings and hope we show our gratitude by giving thanks and enjoying the love of family and friends each day.
Happy Thanksgiving!